Accounting manager jailed over theft of HK$24m

An accounting manager of a sushi restaurant chain was on Tuesday jailed for six years and eight months after he admitted to stealing HK$24 million from the company between 2005 and 2007.

The High Court heard that Eric Tong, 50, pocketed revenue he collected from six Itamae Sushi restaurants on 680 occasions, and fabricated deposit slips to make the company management believe he had put the money in the restaurant’s bank account.

Tong spent and gambled the money away.

In 2007, he failed to submit relevant accounting documents to the company’s auditor and fled to the mainland after the theft was exposed.

He returned to Hong Kong in 2016 and was arrested in 2019.

Tong pleaded guilty to six counts of theft in January.

In passing sentence, Deputy High Court Judge Andrew Bruce criticised Tong for abusing the authority given to him by his company to commit the offences over a long period of time.

The judge said the crime was shameful as it involved a breach of trust and a huge sum of money.